Despite my continuing disinterest in writing about games (…you’ve noticed, eh…), I must applaud Massively and Jef for this excellent article:
So, when you throw together my disdain for PR-soaked reporting and my facepalming at any mention of the phrase “game journalism,” you end up with this week’s Soapbox. In it, I’d like to take a crack at educating the folks who erroneously refer to both me and other game bloggers as “journalists.” To do so, I’ll spend some time examining “game journalism,” and I’ll start by defining journalism itself. Then we can look at how applicable the term is to the current landscape of MMO-centric media (and really, game media in general).
Read the entire thing because every word in right on the money. People who read this site already know my stance on this whole subject…see this article from 2007…remember the whole bloggers are/aren’t press thing??. I think we’ve had a couple of SUWTs on this subject as well.
I would even put one more on this one whole thing…that even journalists aren’t journalists anymore. There is certainly a lowering of standards all across the board. Despite gaming “journalists” not having any standards (…which is true…), it seems that traditional journalism is lowering theirs…so it’s no wonder that game “journalists” aren’t even trying to get critical of the games they cover?
My view right now is that everything you read in gaming is of blogger quality and intent. There is still no such thing as journalism in gaming….it’s all opinion pieces of some variety or another….but again, that’s a disease that has hit the whole profession of journalism. There is massive amounts of money in gaming right now (…11 billion??…) so the stakes are very high. In a atmosphere where high metacritic scores are a measure of performance, it’s no wonder that getting the correct message out there is of vital importance to the game industry. Failure is no longer an option for the big boys…unlike the little guys who still get that failure is a valuable tool.
I really hope game coverage changes because the game industry will not get better unless their failures and duds start to really sting. The industry needs to start answering hard questions and…more importantly, gamers who step into a journalistic role need to start asking them.